A Silver Platter

Yom haZikaron

One of the best known poems in Israel, at least in my generation, was Natan Alterman’s ‘Magash Hakessef’ – The Silver Platter. No translations ever did it proper justice, that I know of. The poem emphasizes the price we pay for the wonderful privilege of living with a State of Israel. The reality of Jewish return to the Land of Israel has been one mixed with large parts of celebration and large parts of sobriety and mourning. Ours are a few generations now that have witnessed and experienced at least partially what Jews have dreamt about and daily prayed about for thousands of years. Ours are generations that have experienced a return and revival after exile that has literally no parallel in human history.

Creating A Life of Torah

Yom HaAtzmaut

I’ve often encountered an interesting and completely unnecessary obstacle to Jews devoting time to learning Torah and becoming more deeply involved in the committed practice of Judaism. It seems that many of them are of the impression that one has to park their personality and intellect at the door in order to become Jews committed to Hashem’s Torah. Many seem to think finding one’s place in the large scheme of Torah requires precisely fitting a mold, appearing the same, adopting the same mannerisms and speech – becoming robots created in the image of a single set of role models. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Some Thoughts for the End of Passover

Thoughts for Sefirat HaOmer


With the last days of Pesah/Passover already here, we have been counting the Omer for a few days now.  There are all sorts of good discussions and teachings about what the deeper, inner meaning of Sefirat HaOmer.  Have you ever considered, ‘what is the simple meaning of Sefirat HaOmer?’  What is the meaning of this counting from Pesah until Shavuot?  What is the meaning of this counting from Leaving Egypt until Standing at Sinai, Receiving God’s Torah?

Some Musings on Words and Their Applications

An essay on the importance of the words we choose when describing or interacting with non-Jewish society.  Posted to Beyond BT here: http://www.beyondbt.com/?p=1162 .  Please feel free to join the comments there.

Enduring Impact of Shabbat

Rav Eli Mansour (DailyHalacha.com) posted the following thought this week. For more of his Torah, see his website. Parashat Bamidbar describes Bene Yisrael’s formation as they traveled through the wilderness. They did not travel arbitrarily or haphazardly, with everybody situating himself wherever he saw fit. God presented to Moshe very detailed instructions concerning the proper… Continue reading Enduring Impact of Shabbat